Freudian Slips: Bench Warmer

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

September 21, 2006

Bench Warmer

-an oasis behind rusted, twisted metal and weeds
The background noise generated by dozens of special needs clients rivals a busy day care center. My open-aired cubicle has been situated in the orchestra section of center stage for the last fourteen years. The non-verbal clients emit vocalizations that would surprise a midwife. From my ordinary desk, mental coping strategies allow me to block out virtually all noise without any training by a yoga master. The only time I hear background noise is when someone brings it to my attention. Such was the case when a parent of a child on my caseload paid me a impromptu visit and pointedly asked me how I can get any work done with that noise. My answer was patented honesty to the visitor who brought the high decibel level to my ear’s immediate attention.

“What noise? I didn’t hear anything until you mentioned it.”

Once tuned back into the soundtrack, however, I have difficulty turning it off. After my visitor left with her question answered, I listened to the sounds for several more minutes before I got annoyed at myself for not being able to regroup. I walked outside for a breath of fresh air. Severed from the sounds, I strolled behind the building turning near some rusted storage sheds on the property to the end of a hedgerow separating work from an apartment complex. Then it revealed itself. A wooden bench shaded by a magnificent tree. All these years that I had not even ventured this far from my desk and there was the habitat for humanity right next door inviting my duff. I walked over and sat down on the bench. No noise. No stress. No pressure. No phone calls. No visitors. My bump rested peacefully on the wooden plank slats. I stretched my legs out in the grass. A gentle breeze filtered through the leaves whispering to the evening shade of my career. I inhaled heavenly serenity and wondered how in the hell this bench got here.

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6 Comments:

Blogger E said...

As George Costanza's dad said, "SERENITY NOW!!!"

9:41 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

e,
I forgot about that line.

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe, you had a wonderful, serendipitous moment in time! Lucky, you!

4:56 PM  
Anonymous antarro said...

Joe,
I usually live in the ambient. It's wonderfull you still have enough of your mother in you to be able to appreciate such a moment. Keep in mind, however, what happened the last time you tried to enjoy "nature" for an extended period of time.

5:07 PM  
Blogger PaxRomano said...

So now you've gone and told the world about your secret garden; they'll be building a Starbucks there next week!

10:26 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

pax,
it would be nice to wakeup and smell the coffee.

11:28 AM  

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